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Belize’s economy did well three straight quarters in 2022; Will the final figures exceed expectations?

Posted: Monday, January 16, 2023. 9:54 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Belize’s economy performed well for three straight quarters in 2022 according to the Statistical Institute of Belize’s (SIBs)latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) preliminary estimates.

The third quarter GDP statistics showed that for the months July-September, Belize produced $1.176 billion worth of goods and services, which represents a 12.8 percent or $133.4 million increase over the third quarter of 2021.

The SIB attributed the third quarter growth primarily to the tertiary and secondary sectors, highlighting the Wholesale and Retail Trade’, ‘Hotels and Restaurants’, ‘Transport’, ‘Manufacturing’, ‘Construction’, and ‘Electricity’ industries as strong performers.

“Activities within the primary sector were down, driven mainly by a fall in banana production. ‘Taxes on Products’ were up by 19.7 percent, from $138.9 million in the third quarter of 2021 to $166.3 million in the third quarter of 2022,” the SIB said. “Production within the primary sector was valued at an estimated $77.1 million for the third quarter of 2022, down by 6.1 percent or $5 million from $82 million produced during the third quarter of 2021.”

The secondary sector industries grew by 10.2 percent ($18 million), from $176.8 million in the third quarter of 2021 to $194.8 million in the third quarter of 2022. Within the tertiary (services) sector, activities were valued at $738.5 million, which represents a growth of $93 million or 14.4 percent from the third quarter of 2021, when output within the services sector totaled $645.4 million.

In the first quarter of 2022, the economy grew by 5.3 percent. Growth was in the double digits in the second quarter, with 13.5 percent However, the fourth quarter and final estimates for 2022 are still being calculated and will not be ready until later this year. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Article IV consultation for 2022, said that economic activity in Belize for 2022 was “recovering strongly” and estimated that the economy would grow by 5.7 percent at the year’s end.

With double-digit second and third-quarter growth, local experts are projecting that overall economic growth in 2022 will surpass the 5.7 percent predicted by the IMF.

 

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